This paper studies the effects of the European Union (EU) regional policy transfers on internal migration across regions in Poland for the period 2004-2014. Based on a gravity model of migration, it tests empirically using the Poisson Pseudo-Maximum Likelihood (PPML) estimator whether EU transfers affect the level and the pattern of bilateral migration flows. For the first eleven years of the EU membership, the study finds no evidence of EU funding discouraging residents’ mobility. On the contrary, residents of regions with higher EU transfers attracted are relatively more likely to leave. This effect is especially significant in poorer regions. In addition, EU transfers help regions attract more migrants. Both the “push” and the “pull” effect of the EU transfers on migration intensified over time. Hence, EU regional funding did not hamper, but rather fostered internal migration in Poland leading to a higher regional concentration of population and prosperity. This, however, works against the objective of the EU regional policy, which is to promote economic and social convergence across regions.
EU regional policy EU structural funds internal migration migration determinants Poland panel data gravity model PPML